I have been struggling with trying to find something to blog about. I've come to the inescapable conclusion that I just don't have anything to offer right now! I thought I might do a few meme's that I've been tagged with (some as far back as the first week in December!), but I'm coming up blank. In fact, Vee at A Haven for Vee tagged me way back on December 5th, I think, as did Lynne at Lynne's Little Corner. More recently, Jennifer at Dust Bunny Hostage tagged me for a "Give 7 Random Facts About Yourself" meme. Here's the problem, though. I blab so much on this blog that there's just nothing that I can tell you that you don't already know. Seven things is a lot! Really. I mean, I could mention that I watch MXC at night, but that might not mean much to some of you. And for those of you who know what MXC is, well heck...I'm hanging my head in shame that I've exposed that particular secret about myself (she said, blushing furiously). For you higher class folks who don't know what MXC is, let me just assure that it's nothing you should concern yourself about. In fact, forget I mentioned it, okie-doke? I could talk about the fact that I have 6 toes on my left foot, but why would I? First of all, that's just freaky and second of all, it's not even true. I only bring it up because I almost did put it on the list because I just couldn't come up with anything else. (Hey, desperate people can and will make things up and/or lie, you know!) The truth of the matter is, I'm in a boring phase of my life. I'm rather hoping it's just a phase anyway, and not an actual lifestyle. Take today, for example. What'd I do? I went shopping. First I met Randey for lunch. Okay, so I met him for lunch because I needed to switch cars with him...I had that stupid, loud Dakota truck that he loves so much. I hate driving that thing. He had those "Flowmaster" mufflers (or whatever you call them) put on it so now it sounds like something a 16 year old boy would drive. I swear, I get in it, start it up and people turn around to see what young, punk whippersnapper is polluting their air with all that noise and they see me...a rather robust figured, 40+ year old woman trying to scrunch way down in the seat so nobody will see who's actually driving the beast. Anywho, I called Randey and arranged to meet him for lunch (which, as it turns out, may have been a waste of time. I say that because this evening, when Randey went back for seconds after dinner and I said something about it, he said he was starving, having not eaten lunch that day. What the flip? He can't remember dining with his wonderful wife a mere 6 hours earlier? But that's another story. I'll not dwell on it at this time....). So...we switched vehicles and I was off to shop. Why? Because I just didn't have anything better to do. I went to Marshall's, bought Kara another outfit (that kid's going to have a fuller wardrobe than the Queen of England and she's three months away from birth still!). I also found Maddy Moose the most wonderful faux fur blanket. It's furry on one side and velvety on the other. And it's WHITE! (Don't panic, Jodie. I checked and it's machine washable. lol). I found a bunny for Easter to set around the house and a resin, shamrock embellished top-hat to use for a candy dish for St. Paddy's Day. I went to Kirkland's afterwards and then Bed, Bath & Beyond (a store that is sorely in need of a lesson in how to discount Christmas merchandise! Good grief, people - it's over a month since Christmas! Anything Christmas themed should be about 90% off, not 50%! Sheesh!). Then I tootled on over to the mall. Found some earrings at the Brighton store. Got a latte at Starbucks. Checked out the stuff the Disney store was offering. Cruised thru Hallmark, where I found a birthday card for my step-sister and a Batman ornament for Nick and Jodie. I also got a Jim Shore figure featuring Jiminy Cricket and the saying "Let your conscience be your guide", which I've always considered to be primo words to live by. Then I hit Macy's, where I found another loud shirt that almost begged me to buy it. However, at $60 (and that was the discounted price), I left the little darling hanging in the store. But man was it purty! Bright colors and sparkly thingys sewn into the neckline...it was hard to resist. I was a rock, though. Okay. So my checkbook was a rock. I'd already spent enough to ....well. Let's just say I was fairly generous in my efforts to single-handedly jumpstart the Ft. Worth area economy and leave it at that, shall we? I did squeeze out enough to pay for 4 books at Half Price Books, however. Hey! Reading improves the mind, right? Of course it does! So anyway...that was my day. Mindlessly walking and shopping and spending and thinking. At one point, I was hit with the knowledge that I. am. lonely. I am as lonely a human as you're ever likely to find. It's my own doing, of course. (I feel I'd better say that so you know I'm not looking for sympathy here.) I can remember years ago, my kids teasing me because they said I only had one friend (Susan) and my response was that was because "friends are such high maintenance". I was only half-kidding. But I used to not feel that way. Really. I was out-going and happy and friendly and loved having friends. I look back now and wonder what changed, how did I get to be so self-contained in my real life? When did I stop making friends? I don't think there's any one incident that I can point to and say "Ah-ha!". It was a combination of things. When Randey and I got married, he was very jealous of any time I spent with people other than him. I put up with that for awhile, but actually that got real old, real quick. After much "discussion" between us, he got over that feeling. In fact, I'd say that Randey got waaaay over it and has now reached the point of feeling totally and completely secure in our relationship. Which is a good thing. Still...it was a tiresome battle and struggle to get him to that point and it took its toll. Then there was family. Whenever I'd go somewhere to visit family (in another state or town), I was always made to feel like I was doing something "wrong" if I wanted to take time out to visit with friends who lived in the area, too. There was always that "you need to be focusing on your family" thing. Family guilt can really twist you up inside, you know it? But, as a result, I tended to let friendships slide. It was easier, I'm ashamed to say. And then the worst thing in the world happened. My friend, my best friend at the time, committed suicide. Yeah. That rocked my whole world, as you can imagine. I'd failed my friend on some level, that much was obvious. Hell. I'd failed her on every level. I mean a part of me knew that I was not responsible for her death, but another part of me knew that I should have been a better friend to her. Maybe if I'd done something different, she wouldn't have felt whatever it is she was feeling that caused her to take her own life. I saw a therapist afterwards, to deal with the nightmare of it all. She told me that, as evidenced by the method my friend used, it was plain that she meant to die. She wasn't asking for help, she wasn't hoping to be "saved", she just wanted out of her life. How could I not know that? I had moved to another state, true, but I was only 3 hours away from her! How could I not know? Well, I never found an answer to that question, but I did find a way to not feel that sort of horror again. I quit making friends. Except for Susan. Susan and I just "clicked". There was no effort involved. And she's a rock. She's solid, she's smart, she's together. I couldn't have not been friends with her because she and I always seemed to understand one another. But that's pretty darn rare. Everybody else I met required that I actually work at the relationship if I wanted to be friends and, like I said, that's just too high maintenance for me. So the result? I often times find myself lonely. Again, it's my own fault. I know that. Susan lives 5 states away so our "time" together has been reduced to phone calls and maybe one visit a year. (Although, the beauty of a friendship as intense as the one Susan and I share is that we know how the other feels. Distance doesn't change that. That's a comfort.) However, other than Susan, I have no "real life" actual friends. I have a rocky relationship with most of my family...for reasons too numerous to mention here. I have great kids and a great husband, great neighbors, great bloggin buds...great everything! But I don't have anyone to just bum around with, you know what I mean? I read about some of you and your "circle of friends" and I feel envy. I wonder what that's like. And I wonder how you get that. I can't remember. My days of making up close and personal friends are gone. Sometimes I miss those days. But then sometimes, when I think of the pain of losing a friend, I'm grateful for my Rock, Susan (who I feel safe and confident in never losing because she knows my faults and loves me anyway! lol) and I feel content with the knowledge that, if I don't put myself in that position, then I can't let any other friends down. I guess it's a trade off. I just don't know anymore if I'm trading up...or trading down...by not getting involved with other people. I know there's a lot to be said for being alone. But damn...there sure isn't a whole lot of good to be said about being lonely, is there?